Visitors flock to Liverpool Mathew Street Festival

Mathews Street banner
Image caption Tourists from around the world are expected to attend the two-day festival

Up to 300,000 people are expected to descend on Liverpool city centre for the two-day Mathew Street Festival.

Now in its 18th year, the annual Bank Holiday weekend event celebrates the city's musical heritage.

Six outdoor stages are showcasing live music from more than 95 bands, while a host of indoor venues will host fringe events and performances.

Bands from the USA, Brazil, Argentina, Japan, Switzerland, Russia, Sweden and Scotland are all taking part.

Revellers are advised to take public transport into the city, although some bus services are disrupted.

Hundreds of bus drivers from Stagecoach are on strike and the company is drafting in 100 extra drivers and vehicles from across the UK in a bid to minimise problems.

Motorists are being warned that the Queensway Mersey Tunnel will be closed to all traffic in both directions from 2200 BST on Saturday until 0630 BST on Tuesday to accommodate the festival.

The Kingsway Tunnel will be open as normal throughout these closures.

Merseyside Police are reminding festival-goers that drinking will only be permitted on the street within the festival boundaries.

Extensive safety planning, in conjunction with Liverpool City Council, has been carried out, the force said.

Supt Simon Irving said: "Last year's Mathew Street Music Festival was a fantastic occasion and I am confident that this year's festival will be just as enjoyable.

"We want people to have a safe and memorable day in our city and enjoy the music that's on offer.

"Obviously, with the festival being so popular we are expecting large crowds again this year so I would advise people to plan how they are going to get there and back, stay together with friends and don't drink excessively."

The first bands were due on the outdoor stages at 1100 BST, with the last scheduled to finish at 1800 BST.

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